Jennifer Gutierrez-Caldwell is the Director of Youth Services at Pendleton Place. Jennifer Gutierrez-Caldwell has been described as a “change-agent.” As director of Youth...
District Director, Office of U.S. Representative William Timmons (SC-04)
Former Spartanburg County Clerk of Court
Hope Blackley defines leadership as “making other leaders.” “It’s really that simple. I’m only as good as my team. And if my team isn’t good, then I’m not good,” she said. Hope Blackley served as Spartanburg County Clerk of Court for almost nine years. At the outset, she inherited numerous issues including a building with mold issues. She successfully championed a new building, slated for completion in several years. She began her career as a preschool teacher before becoming a child victim advocate. In 2004 Governor Mark Sanford appointed her as the Crime Victims’ Ombudsman for the state. More recently she joined Congressman William Timmons’ office as District Director.
Her advice to young people: “No matter the obstacles, work hard. Never let anyone put limitations on your life. … You are the determining factor on what you can do. And although efforts or initiatives may be very hard and they may look bleak, if you’re doing it for the right reasons and not being self-serving, they’ll be a lot of positives that will come out of that.”
About the Honoree
Ms. Hope Blackley began her professional career with the United Way of the Piedmont, Village Partnership as a preschool teacher. From there, she joined the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office as a child victim advocate where she assisted and prepared children for criminal court working under the direction of former solicitor, Trey Gowdy.
In 2004, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford appointed her as the Crime Victims’ Ombudsman for the state where she investigated complaints of crime victims against criminal and juvenile justice organizations. Ms. Blackley also directed the Governor’s Office of Victim Services Education & Certification (OVSEC) where she helped write legislation creating this office. Ms. Blackley created and implemented training for those who served crime victims through OVSEC in South Carolina.
In 2010, Ms. Blackley was appointed Spartanburg County Clerk of Court, where she currently manages the day-to-day operations of the courthouse and court system, as well as supervises 50 employees.
In January 2019, Ms. Blackley joined Congressman William Timmons office as his District Director. In this capacity Ms. Blackley oversees the administrative duties of the Spartanburg and Greenville district offices and staff.
Ms. Blackley has served on numerous boards such as the United Way of the Piedmont, Converse College Board of Visitors, South Carolina Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Spartanburg Regional’s Women’s Advisory Council, Carolina Pregnancy Center, Spartanburg Village Network, Circle of Friends for Mobile Meals, the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind Foundation Board, the University of South Carolina Upstate Foundation Board, the 2016/2017 President of the South Carolina Clerk of Court and Register of Deeds Association, Tri- chair member of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce’s Community & Economic Strategy Steering Committee and was the recipient of the 2014 Upstate Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr Humanitarian Award. Currently, Ms. Blackley serves on the Mayr Black Foundation Board of Trustee and on the Institute for Youth Justice.
One of Ms. Blackley’s personal joys is giving back to her community. Ms. Blackley currently partners with the Spartanburg County Foundation to host the Institute for Youth Justice, where junior and senior high school students are formally introduced to the criminal justice system by empowering them to become devoted to the education and promotion of the criminal justice field. Ms. Blackley is a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church and the mother to a wonderful daughter, Currin Halle Blackley, who is a high school senior.
She lives by her personal motto, “Never allow anyone to set limits on your life because you never know who you might encourage by your determination.”
About Women Vision SC
Women Vision SC is a program that focuses on issues affecting women throughout the state and the nation and a new generation of young people pursuing public service for their communities and the state at large. The program is produced and hosted by former SCETV president Linda O’Bryon.